NITI Aayog and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will create a framework to better cooperate in various areas to help progress India's sustainable development goals (SDGs). The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to formalise the cooperation on areas including SDG localisation, data-driven monitoring, and aspirational districts & blocks, among others.
The CEO of NITI Aayog, B V R Subrahmanyam, commented on the years of collaboration between the two groups while emphasising development as a priority for India.
Subrahmanyam stated, "Over the years, NITI Aayog and UNDP's collaboration has grown from strength to strength... Standing at the midpoint of the 2030 agenda, we look forward to working together with the States in the true spirit of cooperative federalism."
Speaking on the MoU signing, Subrahmanyam added, "With monitoring going beyond districts down to the block level, we see this partnership fostering data-driven policy interventions and programmatic action. We also look forward to partnering with UNDP to showcase and share India's successes in realising its development priorities to its peers"
The MoU has been signed for a period of five years. NITI Aayog will coordinate the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at a national and sub-national level. While the UNDP will play an "integrator role" in coordinating efforts to fast-track progress on the SDGs within the UN system.
Shoko Noda, the resident representative of UNDP India said, "Midway to 2030, India's leadership is critical for making the SDGs a reality. India nearly halved multidimensional poverty between 2015-2016 and 2019-2021, demonstrating that despite complex challenges, accelerating progress towards the Goals is possible. Through this MoU with NITI Aayog, UNDP stands ready to enhance its support for localisation of the SDGs, data-driven decision-making through various indices, the Aspirational Districts and Blocks programme, and SDG financing. UNDP will also provide support for NITI Aayog's work on women's livelihoods, innovation, and Mission LiFE."
This comes after the UNDP signed an MoU, committing to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) to speed up India's SDGs on August 22. This partnership also includes extending support to aspirational districts and blocks while also working on enhancing the ability to monitor and evaluate projects and building capacity.